[b]Liverpool interested in Paulo Bento [/b]
Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks says he will held talks with Paulo Bento in next month about taking over as manager in case Rafael Benitez left the club in the end of this season.
Mixed performances and a row with Hicks and co-owner George Gillett on transfer policy put Benitez’s position in doubt.
"We attempted to negotiate an option as an insurance policy… if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other clubs rumoured, " Hicks told the Liverpool Echo.
He added: “Or in case our communication spiralled out of control.”
Hicks was alluding to the criticism of Hicks and Gillett by Benitez over their transfer policy which angered the American duo and put the Spaniard’s position in jeopardy.
The confirmation of talks between Paulo Bento and his bosses will come as a blow to Benitez, although Hicks said the negotiations will took place in next month.
Liverpool legend Ian Rush said the club were in danger of becoming a “laughing stock”.
And defender Jamie Carragher, wants the club to stop airing their private business in public.
“The sooner we are out of the press the better because it’s not the Liverpool way. The quicker that happens the better,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"Maybe it is difficult when you talk about the Liverpool way as it was a lot different 20-30 years ago with the press invasion now, where things get blown out of proportion.
"That’s something that we would like to try to get back to and that’s not just me but I’m sure everyone involved with the football club is desperate to get back to talking about football.
"I’ve got a great relationship with the manager but as players you’ve just got to do your job and not let other things affect you.
“You have got to be strong mentally to play for Liverpool because there is always speculation, not just regarding the manager but your own position too.”
Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson added: "It is a strange thing to do. You could have spoken to Paulo Bento through a third party and said, ‘If this happens, would you be interested?’ - that is all you need to say.
"It is not dissimilar to what happened to Martin Jol [at Tottenham].
“If you’re saying, ‘We’ve looked around to try to find someone to replace you just in case’, he might just think, ‘I’ll look for a little something I can go into just in case.’”
Lawrenson questioned the way the Americans were running the club.
"I think all the things that were promised when they took over seemed fantastic but now there are all sorts of problems.
"The plans for the stadium were revised. Revised to what?
"I’ve also been told the communication levels between (chief executive) Rick Parry and the Americans have not been great. He had a lot of difficulty before Christmas actually getting hold of them. You can’t run your football club that way, it’s absolutely crazy.
“When you are 4-5,000 miles away it is very difficult to try to run the business of a football club.”
:o :o :o